Tag Archives: vegan

Peanut Butter and Date Breakfast Bars

Regular readers of my blog may remember that having received 12 free jars of Sun-Pat peanut butter, that I promised to share an energy boosting breakfast bar recipe. Well, here it is. Nice and healthy before we hit the excesses of the festive season.

Peanut butter and date breakfast bars

Peanut Butter and Date Breakfast Bars

Ingredients (makes 9)

150g Sun-Pat peanut butter
150g dates
150g oats
10g chia seeds
10g linseeds
About 200ml boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Chop dates and place in basin.
Add bicarbonate of soda.
Add sufficient boiling water to cover.
Leave for 15 minutes, then strain, reserving the liquid.
Place peanut butter in mixing bowl.
Add dates.
Add chia seeds and linseeds.
Mix in oats along with 2 tbsp of the reserved liquid from the dates.
Put mixture into the tin, pressing down into the corners.
Cook in preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
Leave in tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack.
Once cool, cut into 9 squares.
Serve and enjoy.

Delicious and just what we needed for a quick energy boost ready for parkrun. And it must have done the trick, as son1 achieved a personal best for his run today.

Peanut butter and date breakfast bars

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using peanut butter?

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Disclosure. This post mentions a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Nim’s Fruit and Vegetable Crisps review

Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

I have received some free fruit and vegetable crisps from Nim’s to review. I have previously purchased their delicious 100% natural apple crisps, so was looking forward to trying the rest of the range.

Nim's Fruit and Vegetable Crisps

I received one pack of each of the current range as follows:-
Melon & Orange
Pineapple & Kiwi
Tomato & Cucumber
Beetroot & Parsnip
Peppers & Courgettes

Unlike my other half who was only willing to try flavours where he liked the corresponding fresh fruit or vegetable, the boys joined me in a full taste test. They were pleasantly surprised to find they enjoyed some flavours that they weren’t expecting to, including pineapple which came in at position number two, only surpassed by apple. I’m the only person in our house who eats fresh pineapple. The boys even remove it from pizza. So great to know that I can now buy them packets of Nim’s Pineapple Crisps.

And I love that Nim’s Fruit Crisps are 100% natural and are air-dried, not fried. Each pack is equivalent to 1 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. They are fat, gluten and dairy free and are suitable for vegans and coeliac sufferers. They are made in the UK using British fruit and veg where available.

Enjoying Nim's Fruit CrispsNim’s Fruit Crisps are a great healthy snack either to send with the boys to school, or to have when I pick them up after school, or just at home.

Enjoying Nim's Fruit Crisps

Nim’s Fruit crisps are available online with a current RRP of £1.25 per pack and are also stocked at some local independent retailers, cafes, garden centres and farm shops. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for a few more flavours now.

And Nim’s are hoping to launch their kids range soon with a little help from us. They have a crowdfunder campaign which looks a lot better than the ones I watched on The Apprentice last week. There are some great rewards on there for you. But be quick, the campaign closes on 13th December. And please share the campaign with your friends.

Nim's Fruit Crisps crowdfunder campaign

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a full set of the current range of Nim’s Fruit and Vegetable crisps to one lucky winner. That is eight packs in total.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what flavours you think should be included in the new kids’ range? Son2 has suggested apricot. And I would suggest that they focus more on fruit rather than vegetables, as our taste test revealed that the vegetable flavours were too strong for son2’s palate, although son1 was happy with them.

We were too busy munching to think about saving any for a recipe. However I would be keen to hear your recipe ideas using any of the flavours.

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Pumpkin and Kale stir-fry

I hope you enjoyed Halloween. Did you carve a pumpkin? I always find pumpkin carving quite difficult, so am impressed with some of the amazing designs that I see online. I understand a stencil is the key, however I don’t think I would have the patience. But at least the boys were happy with my basic carving.


And of course I didn’t want to waste the pumpkin flesh. Instead I used it in a stir-fry.

Pumpkin and Kale stir fry

Pumpkin and Kale stir-fry

Ingredients (serves 2)

250g pumpkin
350g potato
50g kale
1 spring onion
50g macadamias
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs
salt and pepper to season


Dice the pumpkin and chop the spring onion.
Shred the kale and grate the potato.
Heat the oil in a wok over a moderate heat.
Add the pumpkin and onion.
Stir in the grated potato.
Stir in the kale.
Add the macadamias.
Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Continue to stir-fry for about 10-15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Pumpkin and Kale stir-fry

I’d love to hear your favourite pumpkin recipes.

And you can see how to toast the pumpkin seeds here, along with my pumpkin soup recipe.

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Oatly Foamable – an oat drink

I have received a carton of Oatly Foamable oat drink, free to review.

Oatly foamable oat drink

Having never been a barista, I wasn’t quite sure how to foam either milk or Oatly Foamable, or how foamy it should be. However I gave it my best shot, warming the Oatly Foamable in the microwave and then hand whisking it before pouring it into my coffee. The result was delicious. I really loved the oaty flavour and the best bonus was I didn’t need to add my normal half a spoon of sugar. The usual bitterness of coffee had disappeared. I have to say I preferred it to a coffee made with cow’s milk.

making coffee with Oatly Foamable

making coffee with Oatly Foamable

I also tried making a bowl of porridge with the Oatly Foamable. And I know what you’re saying. That porridge is oats anyhow, but I thought it would be a good pairing. And yes it was nice, but not a huge taste difference from using cow’s milk.

making porridge with Oatly Foamable

Now let me share some facts I’ve learnt about the Oatly Foamable oat drink.

  1. It is completely plant-based, so can be enjoyed by those with milk allergies as well as vegans. Also suitable for those with nut allergies.
  2. Production of this drink creates 69% fewer green house gas emissions than cow’s milk and 79% less land usage and 60% less energy usage.
  3. A long-life product which keeps in the refrigerator for upto 5 days after opening.

Oatly Foamable is available at Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Booths and independents, currently priced at an RRP of £1.79 for a 1 litre carton.

And take a look at the Oatly website, to see some of their other products. I’ve got my eye on trying the Orange Mango Oat Drink next.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Vegan Tuck Box review & giveaway

I was quite excited to find out what goodies were contained in the latest free parcel that I have received. It is a vegan tuck box. No I’m not vegan, but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan treats. I used to be vegetarian for about 20 years, but reintroduced meat back into my diet last year when everyone was so generously cooking us homemade meals after son1’s leukaemia diagnosis. I have very fond memories of a holiday about 10 years ago at Yuva in Turkey where all the meals were vegetarian or vegan. And now although I do eat meat sometimes, I usually will opt for a vegetarian or vegan alternative.

vegan tuck box

When I opened it, I found the contents were as follows…

Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup
Braw blackcurrant oat bar
Go Max Go Foods Cleo’s peanut butter cups
Howdah Snacks Bombay Puri
Meridian Almond Bar
Moo Free Mini Moo Mint
Nothing But pineapple and grape
Premium Chocolatiers No No’s
Provamel coconut and rice drink
Rawlicious pizza crackers
Seed stacked Thai sprinkles

Howdah Snacks Bombay Puri
On reading the pack I thought that this would really appeal to son1, but on tasting it we found it was quite spicy, even though the packaging said it was subtly spiced. I loved it but son1 found it too spicy. This product is NOT gluten free, but the accompanying leaflet indicated that some of the other products in the Howdah range are gluten free.

Bombay puri

Nothing But Pineapple and Grape Snack
Although I like pineapple it is not usually one of my favourite fruits. However this freeze-dried pack of pineapple and grape was so flavoursome. I could easily have munched twice the amount. This is gluten free.

Pineapple & Grape

Braw blackcurrant oat bar
I cut this into 4 pieces so we could all have a taste. 2 of us thought it was okay, son2 thought it was excellent but son1 wasn’t too keen on it. This is a gluten and nut free product.

Peanut butter cups

Go Max Go Foods Cleo’s peanut butter cups
There were 2 of these in the packet, so I cut them in halves so we could all try. I really loved them but the other 3 weren’t keen at all. This is gluten free. Once I removed the sticker detailing ingredients in German, I was able to read the allergy information underneath and since it is clearly labelled as a vegan product I was surprised to read that it is not suitable for persons with an allergy to milk. Umm vegans don’t eat dairy so I can only assume this refers to the next sentence which mentions that it is manufactured in a facility that also produces products containing dairy, eggs and wheat.

Meridian Almond Bar
I took this as a snack to work. I do like almond flavoured products a lot and I found this quite pleasant. This is gluten free.

Premium Chocolatiers No No’s
Another item that we all really enjoyed although son2 only wanted the blue ones. Son1 and hubby were surprised when I told them that these contained marshmallow, as they usually express a dislike of marshmallow. Again gluten free.

pizza crackers

Rawlicious pizza crackers
3 of us weren’t particularly keen on these although we did say they were better when eaten with a dip. But son2 hated them. These don’t list the ingredients, only nutritional facts. Very odd as I do think it is important for ingredients to be listed on a product. So I have looked them up online. I still didn’t find an ingredient list but it did say that they are free from wheat, gluten, buckwheat, refined salt and sugar.

Seed stacked Thai sprinkles
I took these to work for a snack, as I do enjoy snacking on seeds. These were no exception and I liked the Thai flavouring. These are gluten free. They are quite short-dated with a best before date of 21/11/14, but this could be because I am reviewing what would have been the September selection.

Minty moo

Moo Free Mini Moo Mint
Another item which I cut into 4 pieces so we could all try. We all loved this and son1 said it was just like the chocolates that they serve at our local Indian restaurant. This is gluten free.

Provamel coconut and rice drink
This was an individual size 200ml carton. I offered it to the boys to taste but neither of them was particularly keen. I however found it quite refreshing. It is an organic product. The info is just under the glue for the straw but I think it says it is lactose, gluten and wheat free and is unsweetened. A blend of water, rice and coconut-milk.

Coconut Syrup

Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup
This can be used as a substitute for sugar. The bottle suggests using it in tea or coffee. Or over pancakes, waffles, cereal and oatmeal. And it mentions a link to recipe suggestions on their website. The glass bottle was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap. So I decided to try it out on a bowl of porridge. I added a teaspoon of the coconut syrup instead of my usual brown sugar. Yes very nice.

bali nutra coconut syrup

So apart from the Bombay Puri, all these products were gluten free. I like to look out for gluten free products for when my brother-in-law visits us, since he has to follow a gluten-free and oat-free diet for health reasons. So he wouldn’t be able to have the Braw blackcurrant oat bar.

The box I received was the classic selection which contains between 10-12 different sweet and savoury vegan snacks each month. You may choose between an ongoing monthly subscription at £17 per box or prepaying for 3 or 6 boxes or buying a single box for £19. Prepaying for 3 equates to £19 per box and prepaying for 6 equates to £18 per box. Very good value in my opinion. But please note these prices do not include shipping.

There are also options for mini boxes with 5-6 items or gluten free boxes. And you may purchase products individually. Browsing their website, I can also see some tasty Christmas treats.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a classic vegan tuck box to one lucky winner. This will contain a different selection of products to those featured here, as my review is of what would have been in the September selection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

And finally I have a special offer to share with my readers. 10% off your first Vegan Tuck Box when you subscribe with code veganbox at check out.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.